#MonthlyPicks | May 2018 by Ran Yan
BY QEDC It's In Queens
Being Chinese and working in Flushing most of the week, I have to share Szechuan Mountain House at 39-16 Prince St. It’s my favorite Szechuan restaurant in New York City. (Szechuan is a province in southwestern China with a unique, spicy cuisine.) This place has some of the most authentic Szechuan food as testified by my friends from the region, with elegant and comfy decor, perfect for gathering with friends and families over spicy, mouthwatering nourishment. By the way, I take special interest in the delicate, hollowed-out, traditional-style tea cups. Beware the long wait on weekend evenings!
For a simple, quick eat alone or with small groups, head to DunHuang Lanzhou Beef Noodle on Union Street and 37th Avenue in Flushing. I usually order a braised beef noodle soup with either a wood ear fungus or eggplant appetizer for lunch.
I really like the ethnic holiday activities at different times of the year across Queens, from the Lunar New Year Parade in Flushing to the Bengali New Year Festival in Jackson Heights. I’m always dazzled by the red and golden saris at the later. These festivals are a feast, and they make me appreciative of open and free public spaces that allow diverse groups to gather and celebrate.
Back in my home neighborhood, Jackson Heights, I always enjoy a nice Sunday stroll in the historic district – 76th and 85th streets by Roosevelt and 34th avenues — to take in the pre-war residential architecture scene, trees, and sunlight. Make sure to stop by the Farmers Market. (It used to at 34th Avenue and 81st Street, but now it’s at 34th Avenue between 79th and 80th streets.) Local spots include Jahn’s Diner and Lety’s Bakery and Cafe. For the bikers out there, a green bike lane goes along 34th Avenue and through Jackson Heights all the way to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Visit the Lewis H. Latimer House Museum after filling your belly in Flushing! The New York City Landmark tells the story of a self-taught African-American inventor, poet, patent law expert, and humanist, who was also a Civil War veteran and the son of fugitive slaves. He also drafted the patent drawings for Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. The house itself was moved from its original location to the current site in 1988, as documented in historic photographs and videos.
Ran Yan is the executive director of the Lewis H. Latimer House Museum, a wood frame, two-story residence at 34-41 137th St. in Flushing. The museum, which features Queen Anne style architecture, offers public programs to call attention to the many contributions to science and technology that Latimer and other African-Americans have made over the centuries. It also hosts writing workshops and open mic events.